(QHA) -

Russian President Vladimir Putin is raising doubts about the legitimacy of Ukraine’s presidential election but said Russia is moving its troops away from the border to help create favorable conditions for Sunday's vote, VOA reports.

However, U.S. Army Secretary John McHugh said the U.S. sees some Russian troop movements but no large-scale withdrawal. 

Putin, speaking in Shanghai at a security summit, said those who haven't seen signs of a pullout "should look better."

He also added that it will be difficult to build relations with people who come to power during what he called the "continuing punitive operation" in eastern Ukraine.NATO estimates Russia has some 40,000 troops near Ukraine.

Ukrainian officials held on May 21 "national dialogue" talks in Mykolayiv aimed at ending a pro-Russian separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

The first two rounds of talks made no progress.